iSearch options for US Colleges

SMUS-University-Counselling

Like millions of others, I spend a little time with an iPhone and/or an iPad in hand. Okay, maybe more than a little. But, I have put some of the playing to good use, recently, as I have been experimenting with some of the college search apps. I have yet to find a comprehensive one for searching Canadian universities and colleges (I’m sure it’s only a matter of time), but there are a number of apps for the US college information. Here are some of my observations:

Find Colleges: Developed by ThinkEducation USA, an organization geared towards international student recruitment, this app allows you browse by state, major, size & tuition, or by videos. It doesn’t provide all the information that CampusBird does about each institution, but it does allow you to search by more specific subject areas and add in location by individual state, not just region. And if you don’t find what you want, you can request information, but it doesn’t have a link to the website.

College Search: Developed by Peterson’s, a major player in the world of college data publications, it uses the image of a slot machine with customizable wheels to browse colleges. You can select the search parameters, including state, major (more specific than CampusBird, less detailed than Find Colleges), tuition cost, SAT/ACT scores, size, sports, and selectivity (uses a star system: more stars = more selective). Once you get to the search results and click on the college name, it gives quite a bit of detailed information, though it lacks in visual appeal. Also, when I clicked on “more information”, it took me to Peterson’s site, not to the actual college website, which was seemed like unnecessary self-promotion on Peterson’s part.

CampusBird: So far, I like this one best, both for visual appeal and content. It is designed by a private trio of clever people, and it allows you to search by school name, SAT/ACT score, degree type, region, and program. I appreciated the fact that it detailed the states located in each region because my knowledge of US state by location on a map is a bit shaky. One criticism is that the program search options are too broad. For example, if you wanted to see where you could study psychology in New England, you can only choose “liberal arts” as your search parameter. On the plus side, once you get the search results, you can quickly access a slew of general information (student population, campus setting, private/public, address), admissions info (numbers of applicants, admits, and students enrolled, average test scores), finances, and degrees (majors) offered, all without going to the website. But, if you want to go to the website, there’s a link for that, too. And the flying bird that appears as it searches is pretty.

Now, back to working on getting past level 19 in Angry Birds…

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